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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ordinary people can save lives.

Seriously, folks. Ordinary people can keep a cardiac arrest victim's heart and brain alive long enough for a defibrillator to re-start the heart. It doesn't happen all the time, but why is it that 27 % of cardiac arrest survivors had their arrest in an airport? It's because there are lots of AED's and lots of trained people in airports. Why is it that 66 % of all cardiac arrests occur in the home, yet only 15% of the survivors had their arrest in the home? There aren't very many AED's in the home.

The only complaint I have with what happened in the save below is that there is no valid reason I can imagine why there shouldn't be an AED on the sidelines at any athletic competition or practice. You shouldn't have to run into the school to get the AED.

Here's the story.

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Sep 02 2011 03:20PM
Updated Sep 3, 2011 07:39AM

If not for his coaches’ quick action, 17-year-old Ross Palmer would be dead.

The American Falls, Idaho, football player collapsed Tuesday evening while running wind sprints. Two of his coaches started cardiopulmonary resuscitation while another ran into the high school to grab the school’s new AED, a portable heart defibrillator.

Emergency technicians on their way told the coaches to hold off on shocking Ross’ heart, but they went ahead. And that, says Intermountain Medical Center cardiac surgeon Brian Crandall, was what kept Ross from becoming a statistic.

"Sudden death in athletes is quite common in the United States," Crandall said Friday. An estimated 1,000 die each year of unknown heart defects. "If [Ross] had not been shocked," Crandall said, "no way would he have come out of that."

On Friday, a team led by cardiac surgeon Peter Weiss placed a pager-size stimulator device in Ross’ chest, just below his left collarbone, then threaded a sensor wire through his arm’s subclavian vein into his heart.

The device won’t fix the young athlete’s heart, but it will protect him. From now on, if Ross’ heart goes into ventricle fibrillation arrest — quivering instead of beating — the implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, will shock his heart back into action.

"Every doctor, every EMT I talked to said, ‘Your son should be dead,’ " said Travis Palmer, Ross’ father, who with other family members waited at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray during the 11/2-hour implant procedure.

"I’m glad he’s here," said Diana Palmer, Ross’ mother

Hey, parents. You can stop this!

Here's the results of a study recently reported by the CDC. What it suggests is that adolescents are dying / becoming disabled at an increasing rate because of hypertension and diabetes. Guess where the increased type 2 diabetes comes from. Send an angry letter to your favorite fast food store.

My view is that parents have a responsibility to take a strong stand when their children engage in unhealthy behaviors.

Yes, this is a blog about Practical CPR and treatment of sudden cardiac arrests, but the sorts of behaviors that cause the increase in strokes in young people are the same sort of behaviors that cause heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrests in young people, so this study is just one more reason for parents to control the factors that lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrests.

Here's the synopsis of the study:

A new study indicates that the stroke risk among young people, children and adolescences in the U.S., is increasing. Previously, strokes appeared to be more common among older people.

According to researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the study, they examined hospital data for about eight million patients per year between 1995 and 2008. Between 1995 and 2008, the number of hospitalizations for strokes increased by 37 percent for people between 15 years old and 44 years old.

More specifically, one in three ischemic stroke patients were between 15 years old and 34 years old, and over half of those people between 35 years old and 44 years old had high blood pressure. Additionally, a fourth of the patients between 15 years old and 34 years old who experienced an ischemic stroke also had diabetes.

When comparing the stroke rate of ischemic stroke, due to blood clots, and hemorrhagic stroke, due to brain bleeding, hemorrhagic stroke rates decreased for all age groups, except for patients between five years old and 14 years old. Yet, the increase in the ischemic stroke rate exceeds the hemorrhagic stroke rate decrease. The rate of ischemic stroke increased by 31 percent in patients between five years old and 14 years old, from 3.2 strokes per 10,000 hospital cases to 4.2 per 10,000.

Interestingly, the stroke risk appears to be higher in men than in women.

The study also found a higher prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and tobacco use among this population group for the 14-year study period. This study conclusion suggests that public health initiatives are needed to reduce the prevalence of risk factors for stroke among younger people.

According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and 87 percent of all cases are attributed to ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked by blood clots or build-up of fatty deposits called plaque inside blood vessels.